Charlie's Blog: Houses of the Holy


Houses of the Holy

From the houses of the holy, we can watch the white doves go 
From the door comes Satan's daughter, and it only goes to show. You know.
LED ZEPPELIN, Houses of the Holy

One of the worst album covers of all time has to be for Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy. Anything having to do with photos of naked children gives me the creeps and makes my flesh crawl. I am not a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, but my use of their song titles as blog post titles may portray that I am. The simple fact is that Led Zeppelin was a band of hedonistic excess during their days of glory back in the seventies and became the epitome of rock and roll debauchery. Yet, tales of drug abuse and statutory rape pale in comparison to the stories of Jimmy Page's fascination with the occult going so far as to buy the former home of Aleister Crowley, a man of hedonistic and satanic proclivities.

Crowley has been described as the most evil man that ever lived. I do not know if the stories about the man are true or just embellished PR from the man himself. Either way, he seemed to revel in being thought of as some sort of monster. What is not in doubt is that the man was a practitioner of black magic. Even if the rest of his life was that of a saint, that bit of fact is enough to make him a monster in my book.

I can understand people's fascination with the occult. When you are a Christian, life is filled with wonder and awe. When you become an atheist, the wonder and awe is reduced to flat boring materialism. This is why so many atheists become fascinated by astronomy because the stars are the only awe inspiring thing in the materialist world. There is a fine line between astronomy and astrology, and believers in the occult cross that line. The occult allows people who don't believe in God to regain the awe and wonder of the supernatural once more. In the process, they become enslaved to demonic forces.

I used to belong to a group of atheists that met on the regular, and I liked it fine until they started accepting Wiccans into the group. The thing I could not understand was why a group dedicated to science and rationality would be accepting of that superstitious lot. I left the group over it, but I get it now. The Wiccans and the atheists were playing for the same team in much the same way that secularists can't bring themselves to condemn Islam though they can manage to persecute and denigrate the Roman Catholic Church at every opportunity. They all serve Satan. They all oppose Jesus Christ.

This is one of those rambling essays, so I will now move to a regular topic which is my addiction to Twitter. I went for over a week without it, and it freed up some time and space in my brain. But I realize that Twitter is an extension of my writing life. If I didn't write, I wouldn't need Twitter. Twitter allows me to share things while also dipping my hands to drink from the river of information that is always flowing. I think my problem is a generational problem. For instance, I feel no compulsion to read every book in the library or even the ones on the shelf at home. They are always there waiting for me to get to them. As for light reading, I used to devour newspapers and magazines, but I came up for air because those outlets were limited in length. The internet occupies a space between the book shelf and the newspaper.

Millennials have few problems with information overload because they see the internet like the library. It will be there waiting for them. Generation Xers like myself are like those people who survived the Great Depression and save every scrap of food. We remember a time when information was scarce, so we wish to hoard and consume it. We feel the need to put it in our brains while Generation Y treats the internet as an extension of their brains. Maybe I should be more like Generation Y in this regard.

This brings me to the topiv of writing as I become more ambivalent about pouring more water into the river of information. It's like a man who draws water from a well and walks it down to the Mississippi to pour it in. This is what blogging is about. Blogging is a lot like voting. You can spend a lot of time learning about candidates and researching the issues and all that. But when you pull the lever, it will only count as much as the vote of the guy in the next booth who spent no time reading anything about his preferred candidate. You might both be voting for the same guy. Similarly, blogging in a serious way occupies the same space devoted to people ranting about their commute on the subway or the Fart Blog. Serious blogging is like painting and hanging the Mona Lisa in the men's room.

The simple fact is that a one man blog is drowned in the ocean of information. Outlets like the Huffington Post, Patheos, and others rely upon a stable of bloggers to generate traffic. The key is volume. If you post a lot of content, you end with a lot of readers usually coming in through Google. SEO or search engine optimization has become a big thing, but the only thing you need to do to take advantage of it is write blog post titles that are identical to the suggested search terms Google uses.

On the old blog, I did this a few times, and it worked. Basically, if you want a successful blog, use SEO techniques and appeal to people's vices. This is why my old blog had more traffic than the current one. This is because people don't want to read about Catholicism, conservatism, and economics.

Another technique for driving traffic to a blog is to court controversy. Write the most ourageous things and do combat with readers. Pick fights and then keep hammering away at it. I also did this on the old blog. People are always giving me advice for growing my readership, but they don't know as much as I know. It's like when I tell people that I could become a millionaire in a very short period of time. The thing that holds me back is morality. This is the same thing that holds me back as a blogger.

I know how to be successful. If you want to be successful in life, become Gene Simmons. This guy was the epitome of my mentality in the atheist/libertarian days. You can see the same traits in guys like Ted Nugent, durianrider, and Donald Trump. These guys are examples of Nietzsche's Übermensch or Superman. Some philosophically minded types may take me to task over this and tell me that I don't get Nietzsche. Does anyone get Nietzsche? All I know is that these guys are dipped from the same bucket of crap. Basically, you reject God and become your own god-man complete with your own values, obnoxiousness, etc. Gene Simmons captured it perfectly in his own life being both arrogant, egotistical, obnoxious, adulterous, and a teetotaller. That last part is important because that is something that Trump, Nugent, durianrider, and their ilk all have in common. They don't touch alcohol. This is part of that Nietzschean self-mastery. Unfortunately, that self-mastery doesn't seem to apply to womanizing as they all have a fondness for the ladies.

I was with those guys. That was me. I was a cartoon character like Simmons. All philosophies proffer their ideas of the perfect man whether it was the sage of the Stoics or Aristotle's Great Souled Man. These were heroes though largely fictional. Heroes offer us models for how to live. The problem is that we don't know what a hero should be. For the Christian, the hero is Jesus Christ. The goal is sainthood. And the stories of saints both ancient and modern show us that these people are not mere products of fiction or myth.

The goal of life is to become a saint. Sainthood is the fullest life possible. I think Camus recognized this in The Plague when he asked if it was possible for an atheist to become a saint. It may be possible in the fictional world of a novel, but it never happens in the real world. You have to believe in God to become a saint. You can only become a saint with God's help.

For me, I wanted to be Gene Simmons. I know that sounds stupid, and I have to laugh at it now not because it can't be done but because it can. Anyone can become a clown. My ambition is to become like Jesus Christ, and that is probably more laughable than wanting to be Gene Simmons. This is because such an ambition seems impossible. But all things are possible with God.